America is becoming a less religious nation. The observant-Christian segment of the U.S. population (30 percent) is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is rising, according to a broad new study by the Pew Research Center. These changes are taking place across the religious scene, affecting all sections of the country and all demographic groups.
The drop in Christian affiliation is particularly pronounced among young adults, but it is also occurring among Americans of all ages. The same trends are seen among whites, blacks and Latinos; among both college graduates and adults with only a high school education; and among women as well as men. There are many reasons for this decrease in religious belief. However, the recent moral hypocrisy of white Evangelical Christians holds its share of the blame.
Evangelicalism is a loosely confederated movement of Protestants that began in the 18th century. It professes belief in the need for a conversion experience, a personal relationship with Jesus, and relying on the Bible as the standard for faith and practice. Politically, all that was encoded in the phrase “family values.” And beginning in the 1960s and ’70s it came to synchronize with the Republican Party.
Evangelical Christians are a conglomeration of the people Nixon called the Silent Majority. Later names for them included the Moral Majority and Ralph Reed’s 1990s Christian Coalition – white, mostly southern exclusionary hypocrites.
At no other time in the history of the Evangelical movement has the hypocrisy of Evangelical Christians been clearer then it was in 2016 when they threw their political support behind a presidential candidate whose moral standards were the opposite of everything they profess to believe. This was a naked distortion and misdirection of Christian decency. All the other times Evangelicals have been used politically, they were fed dog-whistle deceptions like “law and order,” “It’s morning in America,” and indeed, “family values,” to cover their misappropriation of Christian principles. This time there was no such cover; their candidate was seen widely on television bragging about kissing women uninvited and even, my lord, grabbing them by their pussy(ies). Evangelicals supported Trump without a cover story.
No matter how individual Evangelicals may believe their God excuses their deviation from their religious ethics, She is still shaking Her head from ear to ear gravely disappointed that such principles could be tossed aside so easily for the promise of a wall and a restriction on immigrants. How deep into the abyss would they have fallen for a candidate if the promise was to made America white again?
This should have been enough to sour the rest of the country on Evangelical Christians. And, indeed, their decency and respect are now receiving the magnified attention of virtuous Americans. We question their motives as we speculate on their religious sincerity. We believed, mistakenly, that their hypocrisy would prevent other politicians from seeking their support.
Nearly a year into the failed presidency of their last debacle came another candidate accused of
sexual offenses even worse then grabbing of-age poontang, but this candidate didn’t have to seek out the support of Evangelicals – Roy Moore’s candidacy came with it built-in. Moore was seeking a Senatorial seat in Alabama, the place where white thugs chased Forrest Gump in a jeep with a Confederate flag as the front license plate. In Alabama they are fired up and ready to go. Their support is so enthusiastic that they said he had it even if the accusations against him were true. They were not going to ask themselves “What would Jesus do.” They don’t care.
Forget about Moore’s creepy sexual proclivities, this is a cat who was removed from office twice for violating the law and the Constitution – enough to disqualify anyone from running for public office if you’re not from Al-a-bam-a and you’re not an icon of Evangelical Christians.
A little less than of half of the people who cast a vote in Alabama voted for the accused child molester. It took the black vote, especially that of black women, to bring about the right outcome. White Evangelicals have shot their load. They are rightfully open to incredulity from all points of view and can even be blamed for hastening America’s flight from religion.
I believe Americans should be paying very close attention in the future to politicians who court
the support of any hypocritical group, especially those that profess to be religious.